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Soul Singer Helps Shoeshiner 'Get On The Good Foot'

As a young man in Virginia, Earl Reynolds once shined James Brown's shoes. And that chance meeting helped prod him into making a tough choice about his own future. For a while, Brown's advice even led to a rift between Reynolds and his father.
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In 'Arabia,' Writing Life As You Wish You'd Lived It

Dana Spiotta's third novel, Stone Arabia, is about an aging musician who never achieved the type of success he'd have liked. Rather than giving up, he chronicles an imaginary version of his life — as a successful rock star recording his career in a series of journals.
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Allen West: CBC Needs Conservatism, Civility

The Florida Congressman has been labeled as a rising star within the Republican Party. He speaks with Michel Martin about Obama's jobs plan; the role of his lone conservative voice in the mostly Democratic Congressional Black Caucus; why more blacks aren't making it to elite military teams; and the end of DADT.
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Brad Pitt: 'Moneyball,' Life And 'The Stalkerazzi'

The veteran actor has played a Nazi-hunter, a vampire, a cowboy hitchhiker and the outlaw Jesse James. In his latest film, Brad Pitt plays the manager of baseball's Oakland A's. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross why the part interested him and what it's like to live life in the public eye.
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Transcript: Interview With Jordan's King Abdullah

The monarch talks to Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Arab Spring and political reforms in his country.
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King Abdullah: Jordan Needs 'Stable Middle Class'

The protests of the Arab Spring have made it a risky time to be a ruler in the Middle East. But King Abdullah II of Jordan, who is among the world leaders at the United Nations this week, also sees opportunities.
NPR

A Surprising Trip Through Bluegrass Country

Bill Monroe a legend of bluegrass music, which has been played on porches and in homes for generations. He would have been 100 years old this year. On the anniversary of his birth, writer Jason Cherkis journeyed through Kentucky to see how the musical genre has continued to evolve. He chronicles his trip in this week's Washington Post Magazine. He speaks with Michel Martin.
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Love Longitude? 'Maphead' Locates Geography Buffs

Former Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings charts what he calls "the wide, weird world of geography" in his latest book, Maphead. He profiles Google Maps engineers, geocachers, imaginary mapmakers, map collectors, geography bee contestants and "road geeks."

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